Lieutenant Ebou Lowe was among several people who were arrested in connection with an alleged foiled coup in March 2006, when The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh was on an official visit to Mauritania. The alleged mastermind of the coup was named as the then chief of staff of the armed forces, Colonel Ndure Cham, who escaped to Senegal as his alleged co-conspirators were rounded up. He was later captured and executed.
The family of Lt Lowe last heard of him in early April 2006, when the government announced that he and four other alleged coup plotters ̶ National Intelligence Agency Director General Daba Marenah, Lieutenant Alieu Ceesay, Regimental Sergeant Major Alpha Bah, and Staff Sergeant Manlafi Corr ̶ had escaped when the vehicle transporting them to MacCathy Prison on Janjanbureh island in the Central River Division was involved in an accident. The family got concerned when they read a story in the Foroyaa newspaper that said the government spokesman who made the announcement could not answer a reporter’s questions on the location of the accident site or explain how all the five prisoners managed to escape their heavily armed security escort unscathed.
A source said family members visited Mile 2 Prison after the government announced on July 24, 2015 that pardoned prisoners were being released. They expected to find Lt Lowe at the prison, but were disappointed when they were told there was no record of him there.
The family’s worst fears were confirmed after the ouster of Jammeh in January 2017. In March of that year, the new government ordered an investigation into the deaths of several Gambians during the Jammeh era. Consequently, several members of the former president’s death squad, officially called The Patrol Team but more widely known as the Junglers, were arrested and interrogated.
About the case of the military men, Lt Malick Jatta was reported as saying that contrary to the government’s statement, he and a group of other Junglers took the five and two other people to a garden in Foni, shot them, and dumped their bodies into a well.
This account was corroborated by several witnesses giving their testimonies during sessions of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission.
Mary Mam Degen Fye spoke to Zainab Lowe about her brother, Ebou Lowe.
Question: What was Ebou Lowe passionate about?
Answer: He was passionate about a lot of things; his family, his work, and his children. He was a people person. He was straightforward and wanted equality for everyone regardless of where they came from. Overall, he was passionate about human rights.
Q: What are some of his achievements?
A: His children. He was very fond of his children and did everything he could for them. Secondly, he was dedicated to his work. He got rapid promotions because he was hardworking.
Q: What were his happiest moments?
A: l am not sure because life has many ups and downs. However, he was always happy when he was with his children.
Q: What was he most proud of?
A: He was proud of himself; he was proud of who he was and the values instilled in him.
Q: What is your favourite memory of him?
A: I have a lot of good memories of him. We made many memories together because I was very close to him. I can’t choose one particular memory because each one is special. Now I just yearn for more memories with him.
Q: How would you want him to be remembered?
A: He should be remembered as the good person he was, a person of values, a person with a good heart. He wanted everyone to be happy. He was selfless and put the happiness of his family and friends before his. I want him to be remembered as a hero.
Q: What were his hobbies?
A: Music; he played the guitar. I like to sing, so I would sing and he would play the guitar. He loved music.